Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 21, 2014

Virginia coal miner pinned by machine and killed

GRUNDY, Va. — State mining inspectors are investigating the death of a coal miner who was pinned Friday by the coal-extracting machine he was operating in a Southwest Virginia mine.

Tarah Kesterson, a spokesperson for the state Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, said 24-year-old Arthur David Gelenster sustained fatal injuries at a mine in Buchanan County. The incident occurred at 3:42 p.m.

Kesterson said the death of the Buchanan County man occurred at Dominion Coal Corp. Mine No. 30 near the unincorporated town of Whitewood.

Gelenster was operating a machine called a continuous miner to extract coal from the underground mine, she said. The mining death was the first in Virginia since January 2013.

Kesterson said inspectors have begun their investigation.

“They expect the mine to be closed at least until Wednesday,” she told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. “We expect to have a final report on this in 30 days. It could be longer, depending on MSHA (federal Mine Safety Health Administration).

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